Have some extra cereal boxes or breakfasts foods in your pantry? Donate them to Cereal for Summer! Every year, 10 News teams up with Feeding Tampa Bay to collect cereal and breakfasts food to help feed the hungry in the Tampa Bay area. You may not realize it but more people go hungry here in the bay area than you think.
“Last year cereal for summer raised over 500,000 meals for children in our community. This year we are hoping to break that record,” Jayci Peters with Feeding Tampa Bay said.
500,000 meals is a lot but 700,000 thousand people don’t know where their next meal is coming from in the Tampa Bay area. “When you are food insecure, you’re going extended periods of time without food and it really impacts your productivity and how you think and feel,” Peters said.
In some cases, students won’t eat at all between lunch Friday and breakfast on Monday. Children and seniors make up nearly half the hunger population in Tampa Bay. In Pinellas county 15.7% of the population is food insecure, in Hillsborough County – 16.5%, Pasco County – 14.8%, Manatee County – 15% and Polk County – 16.7%.
“We feed a lot of people, we probably feed about 200 people in one day and you can see it really makes a big difference in their lives and their families lives when they have food to eat,” volunteer Danny Hyatt said.
According to Peters, we’ve collected 150,000 meals but that’s not a lot compared to the 500,000 meals collected in 2017.
“We’ve been getting thousands and thousands of cereal. Every box helps. One box has 8 or more servings so imagine how far that can go for a hungry kid,” Peters said.
You can donate the breakfast foods at any Publix or at 10 News, just look for the Cereal for Summer box by the entrance of the stores or in the 10 News front lobby. Publix says it’s Lutz Lake Crossing and North Dale Mabry Highway Publix has had the most donations so far.
“We thank you from the bottom of our heart. Even though you don’t know who you’re helping, it’s a blessing and means the world to people,” Hyatt said.
Florida is the fourth in the nation for family hunger.